To recap, Warner Bros. tried to block Weinstein from using the title of The Butler for his film, as they owned the rights to a short film from 1916 by the same name. The MPAA temporarily ruled in WB's favor. Weinstein, always up for a right, went on national television and declared it was done in retaliation because the Weinstein Company would not relinquish all of their rights to the Hobbit film back to Warner Bros. Warner Bros. feigned outrage. Cue MPAA head Chris Dodd basically throwing his hands up and saying both sides needed to get over it and act like adults.
But now everything seems to be sorted. The MPAA ruled that the film could use some variation of "The Butler" in the title, which means the film's new title will probably be officially changed to Lee Daniels' The Butler.
Way to win the war there, Warner Bros.
Variety had a nice recap on the ridiculous sums of money that the Weinstein Company has to fork over as a violation of the initial title ruling:
TWC will have pay a fine of $25,000 a day, dating back to July 2, or $400,000 for violating the initial ruling, and face stiffer penalties if it refuses to change its marketing campaign. The fine will increase to $50,000 a day if the studio fails to issue new digital materials (trailers, TV ads) by July 26 and new print materials by Aug. 2. TWC will also have to pay $100,000 to the Entertainment Industry Foundation and up to $150,000 to cover Warner Bros.' legal fees.
And with that, let it never be said that Hollywood is anything but a vicious business. Now that that's all settled, we can go back to penciling in the "Best Actor Nominee" slot for star , along with a host of award nominations for the supporting cast and crew.
Lee Daniels' The Butler will be in theaters on August 16th.
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